With the multiple versions of Windows running on various types of medical devices these days, the threat of malware spreading the entire hospital is always looming. It is also a huge threat against the patient’s privacy and hospital track records. With the increase in technology driven equipments, the danger of corrupt equipments and accidental malware infections are always high.
The new kind of infection which is transmitted through the computer generated software is the malware infection. They can often pose a serious threat to the working of hospital medical equipments and eventually become a potential life threat for patients too.
Hospital medical equipments is subject to computer generated malware infections and mostly happens due to the using outdated versions of the operating systems. The most used obviously is Microsoft Windows, along with iOS and Linux.
According to a recent survey report by a technology firm, it was found out that there is a new malware signature in every half second. This happens due to the computer devices brought in the hospitals every day and which infects the software controlled equipments when they are connected to internet via any source. Also a system running multiple versions of Windows is more open to hacking.
The hacking attacks can become a very serious issue. The lack of technical security in hospitals is paving the way for it. Once corrupted, it will be difficult to regain the system back and malware can play with the hospital and patient’s medical stats, leading to wrong diagnosis and delayed operations. These security breaches often affects the operations like, cancelling patient’s exam, changes in glucose monitors, changed report in the MRI scans and even sudden breakdown during a complicated surgery. This problem of virus attacks can be blown to huge proportions when not only the hospital staff but also the equipment manufacturers aren’t able to fix the problem.
To get a fix on the situation, the manufacturers need to go through a certification process which updates their Windows to the latest version in use. Although there have been cases where the system was patched with the latest software but the problem of malware ceased to exist. Hospitals get a lot of malware infected mails in a day, through the suppliers of hospital medical equipments, the MRs, or any other party promoting its business; due to this the threat of malware infections increases to a new level.
A simple radiology workstation or an IV pump or echocardiogram machines are some of the common appliances which uses a lot data to generate reports. These machines are also the one which easily gets corrupted as they run on outdated software, like Windows NT or Apache 1.0. Even their manufacturers never thought of updating their devices as for so many years they were running fine. However, the process of taking these equipments away and fixing them may take a long time, which is the simplest reason why many of the hospitals don’t even consider them getting fixed and simply procure new equipments. However, these equipments are often bought by second hand market, restored and brought back to the hospitals, so the problem never ends actually.